Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things


Lenore Look

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So, I'm afraid of snakes. I can't stand them. Even a picture of a snake makes me want to run. How about you guys? What are you afraid of?... Well, Alvin Ho is afraid of everything. Seriously. He's scared of trains, bridges, substitute teachers, girls, school, you name it – everything. Alvin Ho is so scared of school he can't talk once he gets there. He can talk at the breakfast table, and even on the school bus, but once he's at school, he's simply unable to talk. He might open his mouth, but no words come out. This makes things really difficult when there's a substitute teacher – and like I said, Alvin Ho is afraid of substitute teachers, too. Alvin may have a lot of fears, but he's a pretty amazing kid, in my opinion. Read about his adventures in Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look. Have any of you read Ruby Lu Brave and True? If you liked it, you'll love this book: it's by the same author!

Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. Alvin likes to pretend he is the superhero Firecracker Man. If you could make up a superhero character, who would you be? What would your costume look like?
  2. Are you afraid of some things? What would you put in your PDK - Personal Disaster Kit - to help you surive the things that scare you?
  3. Alvin takes his father's Johnny Astro toy to school without asking, because he hopes it will make him more popular. Does his plan work?
  4. At first Alvin is excited when it seems like Pinky wants him to join his gang. But then he discovers there's some problems with joining a gang. What are they? Would you join the gang?
  5. Flea made a book called The Book of Alvin. Why did she make it, and what did she put in her book?

If you liked this book, try

  • Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Elizabeth Gifford
  • Mostly Monty by Johanna Hurwitz
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look
  • Stink the Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald
  • Skunk Scout by Laurence Yep


Collect some clothes from your parents or other family members, and come up with your own superhero costume, like Alvin did.

Have a bad food picnic! Get together with friends to try some foods you've always been afraid to eat, but never really tried. Brussel sprouts, lima beans, liver . . . are they really all that bad? For dessert, try a plate of gummi worms or spiders. Sometimes things aren't so scary if they're made of candy!